Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Moonbase That Lingered at the Edge of My Memory

   Bag O Spacemen.  That's what I always called them.  They were fairly common at your local grocery store in the 70s.  I had tons of them.  That and frogmen.  For many years I was somewhat tormented by a fragmented memory of a Moonbase set that utilized these figures.  The only thing I clearly recalled was the strangely Tupperware-like space domes in the set.  I had done a lot of research and turned up nothing.  Yesterday that all changed.  Bill Bulloch of the Project Sword Moonbase Blog sent me some great images of the very toy that has troubled me so.  It was in fact a Sears exclusive called the Beyond Tomorrow Lunar Space Station.  Missile Launchers, hovercraft, flying platforms; it's brilliant!  I must find this!  It even contains bits from the MPC Fireball XL5 playset from the 60s as well as the MPC Project Moonbase playset.  Again, I just want give a special Thank You to Bill Bulloch of the Project Sword Moonbase Blog.  Check out the images below for the full effect.  Enjoy!

Finally, the MPC Fireball XL5 playset for comparison

Saturday, September 28, 2013

So This is How The Dark Knight Rises....The Matchbox Bat Helijet

    I really enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises when it came out in 2012.  As the conclusion to the Bale/Batman trilogy it was a triumph.  For me, the film's real scene stealer was Batman's distinctive helijet (ducted-fan VTOL).  Referred to in the film simply as The Bat; it was a great design, very manacing.  It certainly gave the villains a run for their money.  The Matchbox version is well made and very nicely detailed.  It's an excellent addition to any Bat vehicle collection.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Marvelous Premiere Tonight!

     Well the night has finally arrived for the ABC premiere of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I couldn't be more excited.  With Joss Whedon at the helm, I am confident this will be cool.  I'll give my verdict after it airs.  In the meantime, here's the trailer.  Enjoy!

Verdict:  Amazing! Spectacular! Uncanny! Incredible! Yep.....I'm hooked!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Future that Never Was....Men Into Space!

      I was just made aware of a great book about the epic 1959-1960 tv series Men Into Space.  Bill Bulloch over at the Project Sword Moonbase blog just finished reading a review copy of the book by John C Fredriksen.  Titled simply Men Into Space; it chronicles the making of the series and contains a comprehensive episode guide.  Bill Bulloch gave it a great review and that's good enough for me.  I'm a huge fan of the series.  For those who may not be familiar; the series followed astronaut Col. Edward McCauley (played by the late William Lundigan) as he commanded space missions for the US Air Force.  The series attempted to portray space travel and space exploration as realistically as possible.  The 38 episodes dealt with everything from lunar landings to addressing medical emergencies in space.  Death in the line of duty was not glossed over.  One episode eerily predicts the emergency that would eventually befall Apollo 13.  It's really unfortunate that this fine series has not received a proper dvd release.  In any case , I have ordered my copy of the book from Amazon and should receive it by Tuesday.   You can bet I'll have more to say after reading it.  In the meantime, here's the book's cover and an ad from the show's sponsor Lucky Strike Cigarettes.  Lets be fair, in those days you couldn't blame an astronaut for smoking.

Two Phasers....One Distinct Winner

    My very good friend Dan Foster recently won the Amazon exclusive prop replica phaser from Star Trek Into Darkness.  This fantastic replica was produced by Quantum Mechanix and has a rotating muzzle.  Dan was kind enough to send a photo contrasting it with the Playmates toy phaser produced in 2009. It's a pretty clear win for the QM phaser. Congrats to Dan for winning it from Amazon.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tim Bergeron on Animate Clay Podcast

   This week my great friend and podcast co host Tim Bergeron was a guest on the excellent Animate Clay podcast with stop motion animators Marc Spess and Ronald S. Cole.  It was a fantastic opportunity to listen to these gentlemen discuss stop motion animation and related topics.  I've included the link below.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy Fifth Birthday to the Project Sword Moonbase Blog!

   The Project Sword Moonbase Central blog has been a major source of  inspiration to me over the years.  Three guys with a sincere love of  sci-fi, vintage space toys, and Gerry Anderson programs.  Their blog never fails to impress, inform, and entertain.  Thanks to them I've had the chance to see vintage space toys, art, and ephemera that I never knew existed.  I've  even had the great privledge to contribute to their blog on occasion.  It's fair to say that my own blog wouldn't exist if not for the Moonbase blog.  I have a link on the main page for the Moonbase and I encourage everyone to click on it and help the Moonbase celebrate this great five year milestone!

It's Time to Behold.....Mysteries From Beyond Earth!

    Last Saturday I posted the 70's UFO documentary Overlords of the UFO.  It brought back lots of good memories from my youth.  So I figured I'd post another 70's paranormal documentary this week.  Here we have Mysteries from Beyond Earth aka Journeys from Beyond Earth.  It's the documentary that throws everything into the mix like a steamy, paranormal stew.  Get your checklist ready because here we go:  UFOs, Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts, Bermuda Triangle, Witches, Hauntings, ESP, Kirlian Photography, Cryogenics, Cloning, Telekinesis, and Plant Telepathy (yes, you that's what I said).  Another very cool aspect of this film is the use of footage of the Space Cruiser C57D from Forbidden Planet and the Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space to simulate UFOs.

Spectrum is Green! Even if the Car is Red

   Gerry Anderson's 1967 supermarionation series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons was amazing!  The story centered around Spectrum, a wqorld security organization that finds itself at war with mysterious alien  force known as the Mysterons.   Captain Scarlet was a major departure from previous supermarionation series as the puppets featured here were constructed with much more human proportions.  For me it was the vehicles that really made the series great!  Here is the Konami trading kit for the Spectrum Patrol car.  In the context of the show, the vehicle didn't have any special gadgets or abilities.   It was certainly a  great design though.  The Konami trading kit is well detailed and a nice addition to any Captain Scarlet collection.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

UFO series Opening

    Here's the opening sequence to Gerry Anderson's UFO series.  Its  features all of the great weapons and vehicles used by SHADO including the Mobile from my previous post.  The show was produced in 1970 and took place in the 'futuristic' setting of 1980.  Enjoy!

Konami UFO SHADO Mobile

     Overlords of the UFO got me thinking about Gerry Anderson's great TV series UFO.  The show centered around SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization); a secret defense force protecting Earth against incursion by hostile aliens.  Among SHADO's arsenal of weapons and vehicles is the Mobile.  A distinctive tracked vehicle used to converge on UFO landing and crash sites.  In one episode SHADO Mobiles were used to catapult depth charges into a lake where a UFO had concealed itself.   It's a great design and the Konami trading kit is an excellent representation.  Enjoy!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Time to face the Overlords of the UFO....If you Dare!

    There's nothing quite like a 70's UFO documentary.  They were much more fun than what we see today.  Psychadelic, melodramatic, new agey, and as cheesy as a quesadilla (which would make a dandy snack to enjoy while watching this movie).  This one has it all:  alien abductions, military denial, pilot confrontations, Uri Geller bending keys, poorly produced UFO film footage (it must be real because the narrarator says it is), and even an invisible flying monster that swallows cows whole!  A whale of a tale and it's all true!  Enjoy!


Rescue Eagle to the pad!

     As a sci-fi fan growing up in the 70's; I was a major fan of Gerry Anderson's  Space: 1999.  It followed the crew of Moonbase Alpha as they struggled to survive a difficult journey through space after the moon is violently separated from Earth orbit.  Okay, the physics was wonky, but the show was great!  The centerpiece of the series was the amazing Eagle spacecraft designed by special effects artist and model builder Brian Johnson.  With it's uniquely beaked command module and an endless variety of accessories and interchangeable central pods; it was a real icon of  TV sci-fi. This Konami trading kit features the standard Eagle vehicle frame with the cool rescue pod added.  Enjoy!

The Complete Konami Space: 1999 Collection

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Konami Thunderbirds Mole Diorama. I can dig it!

      I'm a huge fan of Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds.  Of asll the amazing rescue vehicles featured in the show; The Mole was a real showstopper.  It always looked great on screen.  Here is the Konami Mole diorama that I bought a few years back.  It's made to look a scene from the episode City of Fire.  The Mole was used to rescue a family trapped in an underground parking garage beneath a collapsed super skyscraper.  Great story!  The details on this little diorama are amazing.  Enjoy!